News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Legal jobs increase in January; 11th Circuit doesn’t rule out execution by firing squad

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Legal industry adds 2,400 jobs

The legal services sector added 2,400 jobs in January, according to preliminary and seasonally adjusted figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The legal industry had 1,183,900 jobs, a gain of 13,700 jobs since January 2022. But the January 2023 number is 4,000 jobs below July 2022 figures, when jobs were at their highest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. The jobs number is based on payroll jobs for attorneys and staff members working at firms providing legal services. The jobs data can change in monthly revisions and in the annual look-back process. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics news release and tables)

Inmate can pursue claim for firing-squad execution

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Atlanta has ruled that a Georgia death row inmate can continue to seek execution by firing squad. The inmate, Michael Wade Nance, claims that lethal injection would be cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment because of his medical conditions. The 11th Circuit allowed Nance to pursue a claim that his use of the drug gabapentin for back pain makes his brain less receptive to pentobarbital, the drug that Georgia uses in lethal injections. (Courthouse News Service, Law & Crime, WSB-TV, the Jan. 30 decision)

ABA asks SCOTUS to use 2nd Circuit test in international trademark disputes

In an amicus brief filed Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court, the ABA asked the justices to clarify when the Lanham Act applies in trademark disputes that cross international borders. According to the ABA, the best standard is articulated in Vanity Fair Mills Inc. v. T. Eaton Co., a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York that said courts should consider three factors when deciding whether to apply the Lanham Act extraterritorially: how the defendants’ conduct impacts U.S. commerce, the defendants’ citizenship and whether there are conflicts with foreign law. “The Vanity Fair test adequately protects the rights of U.S. consumers and trademark holders in the face of ever-increasing global trade without interfering in the internal affairs of foreign nations,” the ABA said in its brief. Oral arguments in the case, Abitron Austria GMBH v. Hetronic International Inc., are scheduled for March 21. (The ABA’s amicus brief, ABA news release)

Haynes and Boone adds 19 lawyers from boutique firm

Haynes and Boone has added 19 lawyers from Smith Pachter McWhorter, a boutique law firm focusing on government contracts, construction and white-collar law. The Smith Pachter McWhorter lawyers will continue to practice from their current location in Tysons, Virginia. (Reuters, Haynes and Boone press release)

Clark Hill adds 18 litigators in merger

Clark Hill has added 18 litigators in Philadelphia through a merger with Conrad O’Brien, a law firm with expertise in professional liability defense, commercial litigation and Title IX. Earlier in January, Clark Hill merged with a different Philadelphia firm, real estate boutique Larsson & Scheuritzel. (Clark Hill press release,

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